As a welding inspector, you have specific responsibilities. These responsibilities must be regularly performed during manufacturing or fabrication in a plant, fab shop, or out on the ROW. To become a certified welding inspector (CWI) you must meet strict requirements laid out by the American Welding Society (AWS). Those requirements can be found on the AWS website.

Everyone’s experiences and paths to get to that level needed to take the test are different. Everyone sees things from different viewpoints, like all things in life. To give everyone a baseline for work, we made a brief list of items we check on when performing an inspection of a welded joint. This is by no means a definitive list, more of a starting point; things can be added or may not apply.

Pre-Welding Inspections

Safety Requirements

Ensure all welding-related activities are conducted per all local municipal, state, and federal safety regulations. In addition, they need to comply with all company-defined safety rules and regulations. Safety first.

Documentation review

  • Verify both governing bodies and project specifications (including the correct revision)
  • Inspect test plans (including hold, witness, and review points)
  • Verify welding and inspection equipment calibrations
  • Verify welding materials (base metals, filler wire, consumable electrodes, etc.)
  • Verify correct WPS (welding procedure specifications with revision)
  • Verify welder is qualified for WPS (welder qualification record) and is current
  • Welding rod/wire MTRs (material test report)

Welding equipment review

  • Inspect welding equipment (including welding machines, regulators, cables, etc.)
  • Inspect all base and consumable materials (steel rods, sheet metal, pipes, filler wire, consumable electrodes, etc.)

Preparation and set-up

  • Confirm the correct cutting method relative to projects and materials being used
  • Confirm correct angles, joints, and gaps (bevel angle, lap joint, root gap, etc.) per approved WPS joint design
  • Confirm pre-welding set-up (materials properly aligned, clamps in place, incorrect equipment position)
  • Confirm proper welding machine settings, amperage, volts, and heat inputs
  • Confirm material to be welded heat number matches MTR reviewed in previous steps
  • Confirm the proper preheat temperature and method to preheat

During the Welding Process Monitor

  • Welding site for inclement weather (if applicable)
  • Heating values to be maintained during welding
  • Distortion controls to maintain balance and prevent blow-thru
  • Consumptions of electrodes, filler wire, or gas
  • Welding process (including voltage, amperage, travel speed, etc.)
  • Verifying proper temperature controls between welding passes
  • Verify any other compliance issue dictated by the individual project requirements

Post-Welding Review

  • Conduct PWHT (post weld heat treat) if applicable 
  • Conduct visual inspection of final as-welded joint
  • Inspect and confirm NDT requirements (liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, radiographic and ultrasonic inspections) and method, along with operator qualifications.
  • Identify any necessary repairs or corrections via visual inspection and/or other NDT methods

Conduct final hydrostatic test procedure, only if applicable and all welds are acceptable

Repairs and Corrections

  • If a weld fails NDT a NCR (Non-Conformance Record) shall be written
  • Evaluate all original procedures and confirm the validity of making a repair of a rejected weld
  • Approval of all pre-welding procedures outlined above before making a repair
  • Monitor repair process as outlined in the monitoring section outlined above
  • Re-inspect the repair area and ensure repair completion via visual and using the original NDT method that detected the defect

These steps are important to ensure that the weld is created to code and meets all safety standards. Learn more about the welding services we offer at PMET.

PMET Can Help!

With over 30 years of experience, PMET has the knowledge and expertise to provide comprehensive Certified Welding Inspector services plus a wide range of other TPI services.

Our team of seasoned professionals can offer a full range of safety inspector services, including quality control, project management, and environmental compliance. Learn more about all of the services we offer here at PMET.

So if you’d rather hire someone to do the job, give us a call. Our mission is to provide our customers with the best service and do everything in our power to fulfill their needs.